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Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

serviscope_minor Re:good (382 comments)

Oh yeah, that's fair enough, and why I abandoned transparent terminals after about an hour.

My cute not quite hello kitty background picture is clear enough for me to see the icons.

10 hours ago
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Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

serviscope_minor Re:It's sad (382 comments)

Is samsung that bad?

Last Samsung phone I has was an unlocked Galaxy Ace. It came with a bunch of useful software, and I was surprised how much I had to install when I got a Nexus phone. The stock android seems to be missing among others, some very old fashined features which have been standard since the 80s, or at least the early 90s.

11 hours ago
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Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

serviscope_minor Re:good (382 comments)

The sole annoying thing about it was that the Chinese vendor's taste in wallpapers doesn't necessarily match Western tastes (it wasn't quite Hello Kitty, but close), but that was quickly fixed.

I'm western and I set my wall paper to something which isn't quite Hello Kitty but is close.

I get irked by the forced soullessly bland corporate inoffensiveness which seems to be popular round these parts at the moment. I'm actually heartened to hear that that phone vendor has not also suffered from that particular disease.

11 hours ago
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Bash To Require Further Patching, As More Shellshock Holes Found

serviscope_minor Re:Bash is a very crappy programming language. (322 comments)

Even "sed" (the text filtering utility) is a programming language.

Indeed it is. It is a fantastic Turing tarpit. It was never ever ever designed to be turing complete and the feature set is geared towards doing nothing but batch search and replace.

Naturally this means that people like to program interesting things in it for fun. Some of the most impressive are implementations of dc and sokoban.

yesterday
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Piracy Police Chief Calls For State Interference To Stop Internet "Anarchy"

serviscope_minor Re:How about protecting the public (296 comments)

Great, so how do I vote against the police chief of London City?

Start a large corporation. That is literally the way to get voted on the City.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

serviscope_minor Re:Obj-C (310 comments)

Yes if fragmentation happens then GC wins.

However, unless you track writes, you do have to keep rescanning the entire heap (or whichever fraction is pointer data).

Many languages with GC are capable of stack allocation in some way; other languages simply have GC that is so fast that they dispense with a stack altogether.

This I disagree on: nothing beats free. The jvm has one of the best GCs in existence yet one of the analeses is escape analysis which tries to replace GC allocations with stack ones since the latter are faster.

2 days ago
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Sierra Nevada Corp. Files Legal Challenge Against NASA Commercial Contracts

serviscope_minor Re:Boeing bought more politicians. (125 comments)

Then give the launch to the lowest bidder.

No that's a totally dumbass idea because it's so easily gamed. I can always undercut the competition. Sure the launch will fail, and they might even try to get their money back. But by that stage, it's all been spent so the company will simply fold.

Going for the lowest bidder no matter what is a great way to get screwed over by someone unscrupulous and frankly very few companies operate such a policy either. I actually had some building work done a while back and ended up going for the highes bidder. They provided a detailed cost breakdown and I could verify the costs of materials etc because I could make the same measurements, look up online and get about the same numbers myself give or take.

There is no way the other company could have done the job for the price they quoted, and certainly not if they wanted to make any profit at all. Well, I contracted out to them and they basically did it quickly, cleanly and efficiently and kepth the neighbours happily. I later heard from the people who recommended the cheap builders. The cheap ones ended up bailing halfway through another job, presumably because they couldn't finish it for the price.

So, in conclusion, going for the lowest bidder always is a terrible idea.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

serviscope_minor Re:Obj-C (310 comments)

u wot m8?

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

serviscope_minor Re:Obj-C (310 comments)

I think you misunderstand my point.

In order for memory to be reused, the collector has to run, whereas with reference counting the memory is available instantly (plus the time for the slower allocation routines to run).

There's a number of papers which have evaluated the performance of GC against optimal memory management (the one that frees memory as soon as it is not needed). For about 2x the usage, the GC doesn't have much penalty, so the advantages of faster allocation etc of GC start to show. However it asymptotes towards infinite CPU as the memory usage approaches the optimal bound.

GC requires the optimal amount of memory multiplied by some constant to be efficient, whereas RC does not. In other words, RC uses the memory more efficiently. If you have memory to spare, GC can win[*], but if memory gets tight, RC will win.

The other point is that languages that do mamagement with RC typically include C, C++ and ObjectiveC all of which are also capable of doing stack allocation, which is faster than GC, so that complicates matters a bit.

2 days ago
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Acer Launches First 4K Panel With NVIDIA G-Sync Technology On Board

serviscope_minor Re:Proprietary (64 comments)

Minesweeper? I can tell you're not a REAL gamer. The REAL gamers install the entertainment pack and play skifree.

You haven't seen anything until you've got eaten by a yeti in 4k with perfect synchronisation.

3 days ago
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How 3D Printers Went Mainstream After Decades In Obscurity

serviscope_minor Re:How it happened? Easy: PATENTS expired. (69 comments)

Your analogy is deeper than you realise.

We have the hit-a-button-and-get-a-perfect-print-every-time systems, however much like the computing scene of the 1980's (I'd say the 3D printers have now moved from 1970s to 1980s in computer terms) those machines are obscenely expensive to the point where no hobbyist, home or even small business user (unless they REALLY have to) considers them as a viable option.

3 days ago
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How 3D Printers Went Mainstream After Decades In Obscurity

serviscope_minor Re:3D plotter (69 comments)

Still a long way to go - they are still just a toy.

I'm always amazed at how dismissive people are of other's work. Yes they hae a long way to go but plenty of people use the for actual stuff. They are a long way away from being mere toys.

The process has a long way to go - plastic is a nicer material than some home-brew thing could made, but it's still having problems. Cleaning supports and struts is a pain - I understand if you have a completely "floating" support that they are necessary but in, say, a teacup the whole thing is joined to every other point so there's no real reason to require supports. Moving up AND down a level and being able to orient the head would help a lot here and solve some other problems.

The problem is long solved, it's just a matter of expense. You can print support materials out of something different if you have a more expensive dual head printer. Then you can use a solvent or hydrolyser to remove the support material. On cheap (not strarasis) machines, it's still relatively new and experimental. It works pretty well even now however.

If you print circles, inevitably you have to adjust the print movement or else you end up with a "seam" where the head completes the circles and moves up a level.

I've never seen this: I think slic3r randomizes the start position by default. If not, there's a check box setting you're missing.

you have to wonder why the speed isn't anywhere near the best plotters as were around 20-30 years ago

Ink flows more freely than plastic. The printers can move much, MUCH faster than the print speed. They typically do so when positioning the head. However, if you try to extrude the plastic too fast it doesn't stick properly and becomes inaccurate.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

serviscope_minor Re:Obj-C (310 comments)

It is inferior in just about every way (runtime overhead, latency, memory utilization) to a good garbage collector.

It's certainly not inferior in terms of memory utilization because it's precise in that it deallocates as soon as the last object pointing to it disappears, whereas in normal GC, you have to wait for the allocator to run.

3 days ago
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Flurry of Scans Hint That Bash Vulnerability Could Already Be In the Wild

serviscope_minor Can anyone explain? (316 comments)

I'm not really understanding why this is a flaw at the moment.

Does anyone have a good explanation or a link to a good explanation?

5 days ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

serviscope_minor Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

Females can't even imagine this perspective,

Out of interest, what is the ping time from Ferenginar like?

about a week ago
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Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop

serviscope_minor Re:Debian GNOME needs some attention (394 comments)

But because of this bug I have ubuntu at the moment, and am not having fun and am eager to return to Debian.

What's wrong with ubuntu that causes you to not have fun day-to-day. I, personally cannot get to like Unity, but it's not hard to install another DE. I also used to find it compex to configure relative to Arch, but then Arch got systemD and I'm not nearly as familiarwith that as the old RC scripts, so it's a bit of a wash now.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

serviscope_minor Re:Don't put PhD in the resume (471 comments)

I don't think it's a matter of intimidation. Quite the opposite. To some folks, "PhD in CompSci" means, "I didn't have the chops to get a programming job while getting my undergraduate degree so I just stayed in school." Yeah, harsh, but that's the feeling out there.

Well, think of the PhD as a moron filter. If the company you applied to is moronic enough to think that then them rejecting you means you dodged a bullet.

Most really good programmers don't bother with higher degrees because they're employable from the get-go.

And plenty do. I've met a number of insanely clever, practical people who also happen to be excellent programmers who have PhDs.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

serviscope_minor Re: Read Slashdot (471 comments)

Nope. If it's not in an area relevant to the kinds of jobs he's been applying for, that PhD might as well be in philosophy.

Nope.

The trouble is most people don't really understand what a PhD is. A PhD is a practical education on how to do research. This involves figuring out and understanding stuff that others have done up to and including the bleeding edge state of the art in an area you don't know much about then going on to figure out to do new stuff that no one has figured out before.

The way you get this eminently practical experience is by actually doing research and figuring out new stuff in some area.

The area of expertise is to some extent immaterial.

If you want to hire someone to do the more researchy end of R&D, then a PhD shows that they have an education in the R part.

about a week ago
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US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

serviscope_minor Re:It is all pork barrel politics (338 comments)

The only reasonable thing we can do is reduce the stockpile so we can eradicate humanity only once, instead of ten times and ensure that the weapons are safe (when idle). They may be necessary to prevent nuclear extortion, but we don't have to sink more money into it then necessary.

Unfortunately not. Simply reducing the stockpile isn't enough. A continuous stewardship programme is needed otherwise you'll very soon end up with a workable stockpile of zero, since these things decay over time.

The "kill the world 10 times over" was always hyperbole though. All you need is enough to reliably destroy enough of an enemy that it's never worth them attacking.

about a week ago
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US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

serviscope_minor Re:It is all pork barrel politics (338 comments)

Just because Obama's campaign slogan was "A Nuclear-Free World" doesn't mean he can't lie

This isn't evan a lie. The best way to get a nuclear free world is not to simply chuck them in the bin while Russia, China, etc still have them. That's the best way to get your ass handed to you on a plate in 20 years time. And after the ass-handing has happened the world still won't be nuclear free.

Sure there are countries that have done it, but their just cheap-ass freeloaders, relying on the US, the UK and France spending the money to not do it and thereby indirectly keeping them safe. It's great to say "hey I'm nuclear free" when you're close to two nuclear powers and allied to a third all of which have a good incentive to not let you get invaded. It's still freeloading.

As for revamping, the stockpile stewardship is and has been for a long time an ongoing process. Assuming a nuclear free world is in abstract a good idea, as I mentioned, simply getting rid of the nukes is not the way to do it. If you've decided you need them, keeping them unmaintained, on obsolete decaying missiles is also not a good idea.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Ask slashdot: Clusters on the cheap?

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  about 3 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "Dear Slashdotters,

A friend of mine has recently started a research group. As usual with these things, she is on a shoestring budget and has computational demands. The computational task is very parallel (but implementing it on GPUs is an open research problem and not the topic of research), and very CPU bound.

Can slashdotters advise on a practical way of getting really high bang for buck? The budget is about 4000 GBP (excluding VAT/sales tax), though it is likely that the system will be expanded later.

The computers will probably end up running a boring Linux distro and Sun GridEngine to manage batch processing (with home directories shared over NFS?)."
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Best removable storage filesystem for Linux?

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 4 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "What filesystem do you use for portable disks, especially large ones, under Linux? FAT is simply not very good. Using a proper filesystem (e.g. ext3) preserves the read/write permissions of the original machine which is rather annoying when the disk is moved to a different machine with differet user IDs. So is there a way to have a good filesystem that supports all the unixy things such as symlinks, and an execute bit, but does not require lots of chown'ing as root when moved to a different machine?"
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ARM Based netbook.

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 5 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "Shopping in Robert Dyas of all places (note to non English readers, this is a fairly generic hardware store and has only a small selection of electronics at best) I noticed Inkia ARM based netbooks being advertised, though careful readers will note that the specs seem to differ slightly. The specs are the usual netbook ones along with an 800x480 screen 64Meg RAM, 1G flash and a 400 (or maybe 533MHz) Samsung ARM processor and WinCE. So, it looks like the first non-x86 netbooks have arrived. Sadly, this one is rather expensive, being slightly cheaper than the EEE 2G, with a painfully small amount of RAM, less storage and battery power. But this brings up several interesting questions: are they going to get much cheaper, are there ones with more memory, and will it run OpenBSD? The specs are very similar to the Sharp Zaurus 3000 series which runs OpenBSD very well, but running Firefox in 64M is somewhat painful."
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Liquid explosives: no danger and no plot.

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  about 6 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "It has already been established in a previous article that bringing down an aircraft with liquid explosives mixed on a pllane would be very difficult. The men accused of the plot werer brought to trial and a verdict has now been reached. There was not enough evidence to convice any of them of targeting a plane. So apparently, there was not much evidence of a plot that could not have worked anyway."
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Good profiling tools for C/C++ unser un*x?

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 6 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "It should be well known to any developer that you should only optimize parts of a program which need optimizing. And the way to find those parts is through profiling. This simplifies one point: profiling is difficult. The obvious way is to enable profiling in the compiler and use gprof, but this has problems. Firstly there is no point in profiling a program without turning on -O3 (or which ever), since this can change the results dramatically. Secondly, -O3 will inline functions which can ruin profiling results by making them far too coarse. Even if it doesn't do this, there is no way of determining which part of a function is taking up all the time. So that brings me to my question: does anyone know of profiling tools which do not suffer from these problems? My platform is C++ (using g++) on Linux."
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serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 7 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "You heard earlier today that Dell will be shipping Ubuntu on selected models. Naturally, this is interesting to slashdotters. However, the interest generated by a wider audience will ultimately be more important. Well, apparently, this is the 3rd most popuar topic on the BBC at the moment. So apparently this is interesting to a general audience. I believe that this bodes very well for the future."

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